Friday, October 23, 2020

MARIGOLDS INSPIRATION FRIDAY

 On Thursdays this Friday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Normally this would have gone up yesterday but blogger had a glitch and it didn't post.  So since I didn't have another post ready to go, I figured we'd make this an inspiration Friday instead, ha.  

Word debate comes back next Friday.  



Here is a picture we got a couple years ago from an online friend.  This was how they did their yard every year, planting marigolds.  They found them easy to grow and have fun with so many varieties and colors.

I saved it because when 2nd Man and I saw it we thought, hmm, that could work here.  Marigolds grow VERY well in our climate.  They also are OK with being watered once a week when we go out.  Of course they are annuals but to be able to change things up every year it's not a bad idea.  Or maybe a few perennials scattered in there but instead of trying other annuals that might not work in our weather, why not go with something that we know grows well?  

Side note, I love the smell of marigolds.  Does anyone else?  I have heard people say they hate it but I like it.  It brings back memories of my childhood.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

CREAMY POTATO SOUP WITH HAM AND BACON RECIPE

2nd Man made this soup recently and oh my, it was SO good and satisfying.  It's a creamy potato soup but we like to think of it as a loaded baked potato soup.


INGREDIENTS:

5 oz bacon, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
4 to 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup whole milk
6 oz cooked ham
1/4 cup heavy cream
*to taste: shredded cheddar, chives, green onions

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a heavy, large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring often, until it is crisp and browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the bacon fat and cook until the celery softens, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, thyme, cayenne, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes, milk, and 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste, check the saltiness of your broth). Return to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Use a potato masher to mash some of the potatoes in the pot, this makes the soup thicker and creamier (if you don’t have a potato masher, you can use an immersion blender or blend a cup or two of the soup in a blender or simply scoop out some potatoes and mash them with a fork). 
  6. Stir in the ham and cream, and heat through.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve topped with the reserved bacon (and shredded cheddar and chives or green onions, if you like).
This is a great full meal and even though we are eating it in the Summer/Fall it would be great in the Winter.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2020

GOOD FENCE GOOD NEIGHBOR

A couple of weekends ago when we both went out, we were shocked to see that our property had grown larger...


See?  All that new land!  As far as the eye can see!

Alas, it was only because the fence behind us (along the back of the property) was gone.


There were workers behind us and they had taken down the fence along the entire back.  It's weird how even a simple barbwire fence makes such a visual delineation of one property to the next.

When we left they were still digging holes so we figured the next weekend we'd see the end result.

The following weekend was me by myself (as 2nd Man was preparing for his job interview).


Here is what it looked like.  Very well done.  Large heavy posts into the ground with concrete...


Here is the corner where our property, their property and the other neighbor's property along one side all come together...


Here is a better shot of how they did it.  The posts are used to provide support for the barbed wire.  We would guess if livestock (mean bulls perhaps?) leaned into it, the large posts being on the other side of the wire should keep everything intact.

It appears to be very nicely done.  


I will have to admit though, since I like things nice and neat, THIS one and only bent post is gonna drive me crazy every time I see it, ha!

Anyway, we're glad this was done.  Now if we could just get that done on the 'goat side' of the property, ha.  We actually thought about paying (in the future) to have it done but it's our understanding that usually the neighbor with the livestock is responsible for the fence?  We fear that if we did do that, it would be our responsibility from then on, even if we never had livestock on our side.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

RANDOM SUNDAY UPDATE

Hello!

We hope everyone is having a great weekend.  With 2nd Man starting his job tomorrow, this weekend has been running some errands.  We decided to forgo the farm so we can get everything ready (setting up his home office area, getting some new clothes, etc).

Here are some pictures I took last weekend.  The yellow is on the property next to us and the mesquite tree is ours.  They aren't the greatest trees to have (thorns and not a lot of shade) but they grow in such interesting ways they always look different.


The neighbors usually have cattle but this year they do not and so their property is reverting to its natural state. We like the beauty but honestly, we'll admit that we miss seeing the cows.


Here is a Sunday Hobart picture, looking outside, contemplating the meaning of life...

PS - 2nd Man will get online later (if I can make him stop long enough) and reply to your well wishes from Friday.

Friday, October 16, 2020

HOUSTON WE HAVE A

2nd Man has a new job and starts Monday!



He's been through a few rounds of interviews and a few days ago they made him an offer and he accepted it.  We were just waiting to make sure all progressed as it should and yesterday they said to come by Monday to sign papers and get all the info to get started.  He will get more details then but the company is still primarily working from home and his team will all be working remotely for a while as well.  

We're not sure if there will be a once a week in the office or maybe once a month but they have already sent a laptop to him and webcam and we've gotten him a new large monitor and set up a home office for him.

We're grateful.  It's been a long, tough road but we kept our hopes up even in these dark times.  This is a great opportunity with full benefits.


Thanks to everyone for sending good vibes and well wishes!  Keep them coming for continued success.  Hopefully in a couple of months we can get back to planning for the future at the farm.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

ARBOR WITH DECK INSPIRATION THURSDAY

On Thursdays we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!


Here is something fun.  I like an arbor.  I haven't convinced 2nd Man yet.  But I saw this and thought it was a neat way of doing it. This was a DIY project someone had done (on davesgarden.com).  It sure would be nice to have something like this with a simple deck underneath and create a sort of outdoor room.

Living room, dining room, etc. and then some beautiful climbing vines.  It would be a nice extra room for the house at the farm. A place to go and relax and enjoy the outdoors. (when the weather is nice of course)

Be inspired!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

PASTA WITH MIXED VEGGIES QUICK AND EASY

Periodically during these difficult times, we have been posting some meals we've had.  Usually there will be no recipe, what we want to post is just a reminder that simple is good, simple is comfort and during these times, we can all use a little (or a lot) of that.


In this case we had tried some new frozen vegetables they had at Kroger.  This was a line called "Mexican inspired" and was Elote Street Corn.  It's fire roasted sweet corn, cotija and Monterey jack cheeses with chili seasoning.  We decided to put it in with some pasta and a bit of butter and parsley.  

We cooked the pasta, drained and added some butter.  While that was boiling we heated the veggies in the microwave and then added them to the buttered pasta. 

That was it!


Super simple and super easy.  No meat and comes together quickly.  You can use any vegetable combo of course but this really worked out well tother.  

Serve and enjoy!


Monday, October 12, 2020

TWO NEW BLUEBERRY PLANTS

On a whim the other day I stopped at a local garden center on the way to the farm.  They have their usual end of year clearance.  I could have gone crazy on flowering plants but we need to watch what we spend and we don't really have a place for them right now anyway.  I went looking for blueberries and a deal.  

I was not disappointed.


Snagged these two blueberry bushes for $5 each.  Normally $16.  That's a deal.  

We recently posted about the six raised bed rings.  We already had rabbiteye blueberry bushes that do well in our area.  We decided to take some of your suggestions and we'll do four blueberries and two strawberries.  We figure we'd do the two we currently have and then add these two new varieties.


These are also rabbiteye varieties, this one being a more recent one adapted for our area with its humidity and heat called the "Austin blueberry".  Having two and two of different types will allow for some cross pollination that, while not required for these specific varieties, will at least allow for better and more consistent and productive harvest.

We're thinking that since there will be three new raised bed rings on each side of the fruit area we will do blueberry, strawberry and new blueberry variety on each side.  I just read an article that said Fall is a good time to plant blueberries here.  I need to check that out in more detail because I might need a Fall project.

As for the strawberries we'll worry about how to handle those next Spring (i.e. what varieties do best here).
 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

HOPEFULLY ONE LAST TIME TO MOW THIS YEAR

It was a hot weekend but where is Fall?


I was able to mow, there was ZERO rain from Hurricane Delta, at least at the farm.  With us being downtown, we were just on the edge of the rain bands and got some nice showers in town but further west, it was sunny and clear.  Another bullet dodged for this season.
  


Mowing was just about normal, a little less actually.  It had grown but was not crazy and I didn't have to fight standing water so it went quickly.


It's all clean and neat and quite possibly, according to my app, the last time I might have to mow this year.  I checked my history for the last 4 years and the final mowing times have been October 14th, October 26th, and October 20th.  Only one time was it later, November 3rd so there might be one more.  It all depends on the rain and temperatures.  It's still dry out there and nothing in the next week as far as rain.  Once the cooler weather comes it starts to slow the growth.


There isn't cooler weather yet this year.  Here it is.

91 degrees and 'feels like 99'.

It's almost the middle of October!


Coming back from the farm I ran into traffic. A rarity on the weekend and most defniltey a rarity since the pandemic with fewer vehicles on the road.  There was an accident of course and in the end, it took me a little over two hours to get back into town, ugh.  

It's a "rest the remainder of the weekend" kind of day.

Friday, October 9, 2020

FRIDAY WORD DEBATE

  On Friday in the past we have done a "Friday Food Debate" where we tackle some burning questions of the culinary world, ha. We have expanded it now to other fun and different regional uses of words in addition to food related words.

This week, the burning question is:



Down here, there are hugely popular.  We enjoy them as well though it's not as much of a necessity for us as it is for true crawfish lovers here.  Oh wait, what did I say?  Crawfish...yes that's what we call them. 

But they are also called crawdads...and in some places crayfish.  They are even called mudbugs by many.  We're not sure the regional differences.  Along the Gulf coast where they are most popular, crawfish and crawdads seem to be the most common terms.

So what do you call them?
(whether you like them or not, ha).